Now like any barbecue festival, you're not going to get to eat any of the competitive teams' food unless you already know them, but there are plenty of food options and free tasting tents scattered around Tom Lee Park. Since Friday is the day when the teams cook "ancillary" categories like seafood, beef, chicken wings, exotic, etc., there's an even better chance that there might be some leftover for you to snack on if you ask nicely. On Saturday when they are competing in their specialty categories for the big money and hosting judges' visits, the cook areas tend to be little more serious.
Parking is easy to find in the area, especially on the south end of the park, where you'll pay $10-$20 for the day to make sure your car is safe and sound. The promenade along the Mississippi River is pleasant on any day, but when there are 250-plus barbecue teams partying in massive multi-story tents and pavilions, it's even more entertaining.
Locally, a team out of Hendersonville who call themselves Team Manwagon took ninth place in the prestigious Whole Hog category. Carey Bringle's Peg Leg Porkers team placed in two categories. He invited Griffin Bufkin and Harrison Sapp of the acclaimed New Southern Soul Barbecue on St. Simon's Island in Georgia to join his merry crew of pitmaster pranksters this year, and the decision paid off in spades. Their lamb burger slider won 10th place for the team in the Exotic division, and after more than 20 years of competing at Memphis in May, Bringle finally brought home a trophy in the Pork Shoulder category, winning ninth place. This was Bringle's first win as the captain of his own team, although as a founding member of the Hog Wild team, he had three 2nds and a 9th. Judging is very intense and occasionally arbitrary at MiM, so winning any hardware is a big deal.
My colleagues over at the Nashville Post report that the new burger joint is going into the ground level of the Pine Street Flats apartment and retail development:
Jay Turner, managing director of Gulch master developer MarketStreet Enterprises, said Burger Republic’s local roots and creative concept make it “an ideal fit” for the fast-changing mixed-use urban district. MarketStreet is the developer of Pine Street Flats.
Burger Republic is owned by Drew Jackman — a Berklee College of Music grad who worked for Capital Restaurant Concepts in Washington, D.C., (Georgia Brown’s, Old Glory Bar-B-Que) before embarking on a corporate career at Logan’s Roadhouse and O’Charley’s. He joined with another industry veteran, Jeff Warne, former CEO of O’Charley’s, to found Burger Republic.
Jackman, who not only attended school in Boston but got his start in hospitality working in bars there, also announced that this Thursday, May 23, to commemorate the restaurant's one-year anniversary, Burger Republic will donate 20 percent of revenues to the OneFundBoston.org fund.
Here's what I wrote about Burger Republic's launch last year.
Organizers promised more local talent would be added, and they've already followed through by expanding the roster to include Philip Krajeck from Rolf & Daughters, Margot McCormack of Marché and Margot Café & Bar and Nick Pellegrino of Mangia Nashville. Even more additions are promised, but the mind already boggles at the thought of Nick Pellegrino mamboing with Chef Margot at the Flavors of Nashville event.
Before we feature our own chefs at Music City Eats, some of Nashville's finest will make their way south as guests at the third annual Atlanta Food and Wine Festival which runs from May 31-June 2. The schedule is jam-packed with seminars, chef dinners and a fabulous tasting tent, all of which feature at least a few Nashville chefs.
The Capitol Grille's Tyler Brown will be leading a seminar on Saturday, June 1, from 1 to 2 p.m. titled "CSA Box CPR" where he will teach attendees maximize the bounty of their box with some simple healthy recipes. At the same time (unfortunate scheduling dilemma), City House's Tandy Wilson will join Charleston's Matt and Ted Lee, Katie Button from Curate in North Carolina and Brandon Glamery from Florida as they discuss "What I Learned: Spain and Italy." Any one who has dined in any of these talented chefs' restaurants has benefited from the culinary souvenirs they brought back from their international travels.
On Sunday, June 2, Chris Carter and James Peisker of Porter Road Butcher will hold forth from 10 to 11 a.m. on the topic of the "Butcher Renaissance." They'll discuss "the growing renaissance of chefs becoming butchers and a rebirth of the local butcher shops that began disappearing after the development of mass refrigeration, as well as their commitment to locally sourced, pasture-raised animals and whole animal butchery."
I discovered during my visit that it’s really important to note that it’s more a coffee shop than a crepe restaurant. Still, I expected it to be a little more … French, I guess? The crepes — though fairly authentic, based on my memory of crepes in Paris — are more a vessel for other food than the star of the plate. What's served is basically sandwiches on crepes instead of bread. The menu is rather large; there are breakfast, savory, sweet or build-your-own options, but none are even vaguely reminiscent of a French crepe. Italian, Thai, and even Bacon Cheeseburger are all on the menu, but no Suzette. The closest to authentic is the Florentine on the breakfast menu.
Still, that’s not really a problem. There was one vegetarian option on the menu (aside from a build your own), but the Field of Greens (lettuce, red peppers, onions, tomato, mozzarella, basil aioli) just didn’t sound very appealing. I suppose I just expected something a little more inventive for vegetarian options. Or more French. Such as brie, apples and arugula, or maybe some roasted seasonal vegetables. Even a “Mediterranean style” with artichokes, roasted red peppers, olives and feta would sem a little more interesting.
And definitely more cheese options with the build your own (gruyere, feta and goat cheese, perhaps) would help. I got just a basic cheese crepe (which had Monterey jack cheese as the base, which seems odd to me,) and it was good, but it didn’t take long to eat it and I was still hungry afterward. Tasty, but not satisfying.
Also, the crepes and their fillings are made to order, so it takes a while to get your food. That is very French. Though there was no one ahead of us, it took about 20 minutes to get our crepes. Not a problem if you’re leisurely enjoying a cup of coffee, but notsomuch if you’re already bordering on hangry by the time you arrive. That's not a criticism; it's just worth noting. I certainly don’t have a problem with a place that makes food to order.
All that said, my husband got the Thai crepe and loved it. It was huge and filling. And though the dessert crepes aren’t particularly authentic, they do look very tasty. Several people I know are regular customers and really enjoy the coffee and the food. And The Red Bicycle also offers gluten-free crepes for a small upcharge, which is pretty remarkable. As for beverages, they serve tea and smoothies in addition to coffee and offer flavor shots as well. Surprisingly, I didn’t see French or Italian sodas on the menu, though.
So, I think as long as you’ve managed your expectations, The Red Bicycle is worth checking out. It’s a cute little place and certainly seems a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Just be sure to check out the menu on their Facebook page (in the photos) before you go, which is clearly something I should have done.
The Red Bicycle
1200 Fifth Ave. N. (next to Germantown Café)
Monday-Friday: 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
It's a phenomenon Carrington Fox noticed when she reviewed Pour House in February:
A quick architectural tour of the city's slew of new restaurants gives the impression there is greater affection for old weathered barns than there ever was for farming itself, even in the agriculture heyday of the region. Seriously, where is all this reclaimed barnwood coming from?
Don't get me wrong. Some of my favorite restaurants in town feature reclaimed barnwood. And besides looking nice, it has advantageous acoustical properties — plus recycling materials is good for the environment. But as Carrington asks, where is all this barnwood coming from?
Sure, I've driven by quite a few dilapidated barns in my 15 years in Tennessee, but how many can there be? And when they're gone, what next? Will we have masked commandos swooping in under cover of night, removing weathered wood from still functioning barns, like ivory poachers killing elephants for their tusks?
And is it important that this is locally sourced barnwood? What if it's from Missouri? North Dakota? Does anyone know if this barnwood is organic, for crying out loud? Is there a barnwood verification organization? Maybe that reclaimed barnwood you're looking at is actually reclaimed toolshed wood. Or even house wood. How would you know? Wouldn't you feel deceived?
Stop the madness! I beseech you!
Have y'all had enough of it? (Notice how I said, "y'all," the linguistic equivalent of reclaimed barnwood for providing a quaint rural touch.)
Anyone else ready for some sleek modern design? And this is the Open Thread, folks: What else is up there in your mental hayloft?
Of course, there's no guarantee that E Hur Wei will be open on Dec. 25, or even still be in business by then — especially if the wrinkles don't get ironed out and the crowds don't start showing up. But assuming Tang & Co. get the kinks worked out and start consistently offering the cuisine and service they are capable of, E Hur Wei could be a favorite casual dining spot, at the holidays and throughout the year.
Have you had a chance to check out the new Bellevue locale? Let us know below.
His son, Barry Pelts, said his father died suddenly of a heart attack Wednesday night.
Corky's locations are found in Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas. The Nashville area has one Corky's outpost, at 100 Franklin Road near Old Hickory Boulevard in Brentwood.
Pelts had already been in the Memphis barbecue business for 13 years when he opened the first Corky's in 1984, the company website recounts. In addition to the bricks-and-mortar restaurants, Corky's does catering and sells products online.
Corky's doesn't get tons of critical notice in Nashville (locally born places get most of the attention), but Corky's Brentwood location shows up frequently in the Best of Nashville Readers' Poll.
In February, Corky's in Memphis topped a National Geographic list of the 10 best barbecue joints in America.
Although the store has already opened, the official ribbon-cutting will be this Saturday, May 18, with free samples and giveaways scheduled all day long. You can even get your picture taken with the Goo Goo girls. (I mean they're very cute and all, but they're no Hardees maids ... )
Fontanel has become even more of a destination of late with the addition of the Woods Amphitheater, The Studio Gallery performance venue, zip lines, a disc golf course and the soon-to-be opened Prichard's Distillery. If you haven't made your way up north of town yet for a visit, now might be a perfect time. You won't even have to pack a lunch!
The prix fixe menu is subject to change. Last night's edition featured a choice of two starter salads, three entrées and two desserts. We tried one of each salad — mixed greens and frisée aux lardons. The greens were good, but the frisée was wonderful, with a sous vide poached egg and divine lardons of house-cured bacon.
For her entrée, Wendy had poisson en papillote, aka fish in parchment paper. This rendition featured wild-caught Atlantic cod with tomato fondue, white wine and mushroom duxelle. As our server cut open the parchment, a lovely aromatic cloud puffed out. The fish was light and flaky, the accompanying vegetables simple but tasty.
This year's Nourish dinner will be held at the Nashville Farmers' Market on Tuesday, June 18, starting at 6 p.m. Out-of-town chefs Hugh Acheson from Five and Ten in Athens, Ga., and Empire State South in Atlanta (and Top Chef judging fame) and Rob Newton of Seersucker in Brooklyn will be joined by a host of Nashville favorites. The home team includes Phil Krajeck (Rolf and Daughters), Matt Bolus (some new venture that we haven't been able to pry out of him yet despite liberal application of pressure and whiskey), Megan Williams (Etch), Hal Holden-Bache (Lockeland Table) and Karl Worley (Biscuit Love Truck). Together they will plan and execute a fantastic evening of food and wine that should be a whole lot of fun. One of the highlights from last year came when several of the visiting chefs chowed down on Nashville hot chicken after the dinner service, much to chagrin of several of them.
If you're interested in attending, more information (including a special patrons' event at the Bluebird Cafe) and tickets are available here. Don't dawdle because this will sell out!
Great article. I absolutely believe to the statement, "You never know until you try" especially…
Congrats! I'll have to check out the restaurant.
I've been to the one in Lenox Village a few times and the burgers were…
Really excited about his restaurant. I have got to get myself to Memphis in May…
im really excited about this addition. for those of you who have not eaten at…